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Merc14

Is WIndows 8 killing off the PC?

149 posts in this topic

I stuck with XP for ages and only late last year moved to Windows 7. I see no benefit in moving to 8 unless I need a touch screen and I have physical difficulties that probably would rule that out. As far as the "start" brouhaha is concerned, I've seen plenty of freeware that is supposed to put that back if one really misses it.

My view is to let things like this percolate before making the investment: let them work out the issues. What is the saying -- those on the bleeding edge do the bleeding.

It is pretty plain that PCs are not going to dominate in future as they have in past. They are great for desktops but I like my little android reader for laying in bed curled up with what once would have been a book, but now is a library that keeps track of where I left off on over a dozen books.

Smart plan. It is the Modus Operandi of the software industry to release things and let the users find all the bugs. Kinda annoying but after something has been in use for a while you can assume they've ironed most of the kinks out of it.

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i've read too many bad reviews of the product that made me think it's not even worth the effort

it was a pain to costumize my windows 7 with every tiny detail to suit me

do i want to spend countless hours doing the same with windows 8 only to find out it's not worth it ? nope definatly

my guess is microsoft going to relase all updates they want

but their problem won't be solved till they release the version after windows 8 .. windows 9 ?

they made perfect job of windows 7 but 8 .. not really encouraged to try it out from all the reviews

When people are forced to learn new systems they don't exactly look at it favourably at first. Though when things sink in. I bet it will be a much more popular OS than it is now.

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Still using XP. However, I run Windows in Virtualbox under Kubuntu Linux (12.04, presently), and then only when I'm using my soundlab, which will only run under Windows. I do use the free linux Audacity on occasion; it won't quite do what the purchased lab will do. Also have XP installed on a separate hard drive when I need windows as the only OS.

Windows will never beat Linux as a primary operating system, speaking from a cost/techie standpoint, since microsoft has so many "trade secrets" that are prophylactic against outside programming unless you pay MS a bunch of money. Nearly any program you can buy for windows has an equivalent in the GNU world, and neither windows nor apple will ever be as secure as Linux, in my humble opinion.

It's also factual, as nearly as I can see, that a) windows uses up more disk space than linux, B) linux is based on the philosophy of Unix (programmers will know about the advantages), c) linux can be installed on computers many years old and still run well (gives new life to old desktops), while windows cannot, d) I've never had a linux update destroy my OS, but certainly have with windows, e) many more advantages, such as linux making its own adjustments when I upgraded to an 8 core CPU and actually using all 8 cores.

OK. I'll shut up now, except to say those of you running old desktops should try using XP in Virtualbox under Linux. Windows uses far less resources that way, is much quicker, and is removed from the realm of being hacked since it becomes a virtual machine. And, almost anything using windows as the main OS will run in a virtual machine.

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I agree with every point mentioned about Linux except Linux support on my side of the world sucks major bad wads ... I must confess that was years ago but I don't think things has changed much .... problem for us Linux users here in the east is the multi language support ... something WinXp does better ...

Still on Xp myself and with every intention of carrying on for more years to come ...

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I agree with every point mentioned about Linux except Linux support on my side of the world sucks major bad wads ... I must confess that was years ago but I don't think things has changed much .... problem for us Linux users here in the east is the multi language support ... something WinXp does better ...

Still on Xp myself and with every intention of carrying on for more years to come ...

Can't comment on the language support thing. However, seems to me that in the years since I began using linux as my primary OS, support for many items has become commonplace. The OS has improved leaps and bounds since, oh, around 2009. Then, I used mostly XP with a ton of security. Now, I use linux almost completely, except for doing my conversions from vinyl to CD (or HD). In that case, the software for the turntable doesn't work on the virtual machine, so I boot to XP to grab the music, then switch to Kubuntu to use DC8 (Diamond Cut Audio lab) for further cleanup in XP virtualbox.

The engineering stuff (electronics) may not be quite as good as something you'd pay $4-5,000 for in windows, but it is pretty darned competent, and far more cost effective since it's free. Since I use it for personal stuff (retired) I'm not required to comply with company criteria, only standards that don't care where the data originate, as in PC board houses and such.

And, the icing is that linux is improving all the time. I have updates every few days, never an error, and it always seems to play better and better.

Do check out current language support. It does seem to have a lot of support now. Heck, just download a copy of Kubuntu 12.04 LTS or Gnome Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and run from DVD (too big for CD these days). Best way, I think, is using the bittorrent method, seems less prone to error than a straight download. I shouldn't say just Ubuntu or its variations though, as there are many different versions, as you probably know, with KDE, Gnome or the other desktops. It happens I like KDE on either openSUSE or Ubuntu best, but that's personal preference.

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Can't comment on the language support thing. However, seems to me that in the years since I began using linux as my primary OS, support for many items has become commonplace. The OS has improved leaps and bounds since, oh, around 2009. Then, I used mostly XP with a ton of security. Now, I use linux almost completely, except for doing my conversions from vinyl to CD (or HD). In that case, the software for the turntable doesn't work on the virtual machine, so I boot to XP to grab the music, then switch to Kubuntu to use DC8 (Diamond Cut Audio lab) for further cleanup in XP virtualbox.

The engineering stuff (electronics) may not be quite as good as something you'd pay $4-5,000 for in windows, but it is pretty darned competent, and far more cost effective since it's free. Since I use it for personal stuff (retired) I'm not required to comply with company criteria, only standards that don't care where the data originate, as in PC board houses and such.

And, the icing is that linux is improving all the time. I have updates every few days, never an error, and it always seems to play better and better.

Do check out current language support. It does seem to have a lot of support now. Heck, just download a copy of Kubuntu 12.04 LTS or Gnome Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and run from DVD (too big for CD these days). Best way, I think, is using the bittorrent method, seems less prone to error than a straight download. I shouldn't say just Ubuntu or its variations though, as there are many different versions, as you probably know, with KDE, Gnome or the other desktops. It happens I like KDE on either openSUSE or Ubuntu best, but that's personal preference.

I was eased onto Linux by way of the RedHat fellas ... Gnome was my choice of desktop ... but its not that critical nowadays for me as I don't use the PC for much other than word processing and a bit of Image manipulation .. still using Gimp 2 which is good enough for my needs. With my humble rig its doing fine and I've grown quite accustomed to my Xp setup which has hardly changed for more than four five years now ... updates are only for the graphic drivers and a few of the utilities that I rely on which is mainly CCleaner ... SpyBOt .... and GlaryUtilities ...Foxit Reader and my FF browser that's about it ... I am a man of simple needs.

Thanks for the heads up but I don't think I'll be going near Linux anytime soon unless I get a second hand rig somewhere ... lol

I missed OS2 truth be told .... that was a nice one that didn't quite make it.

What kind of tunes you got there on your list of vinyl conversions ? FLAC format >?

I am a music nut ... especially the old tunes ...

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xp was my favorite .. i only recently got to seven " glad i did "

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Posted (edited)

I was eased onto Linux by way of the RedHat fellas ... Gnome was my choice of desktop ... but its not that critical nowadays for me as I don't use the PC for much other than word processing and a bit of Image manipulation .. still using Gimp 2 which is good enough for my needs. With my humble rig its doing fine and I've grown quite accustomed to my Xp setup which has hardly changed for more than four five years now ... updates are only for the graphic drivers and a few of the utilities that I rely on which is mainly CCleaner ... SpyBOt .... and GlaryUtilities ...Foxit Reader and my FF browser that's about it ... I am a man of simple needs.

Thanks for the heads up but I don't think I'll be going near Linux anytime soon unless I get a second hand rig somewhere ... lol

I missed OS2 truth be told .... that was a nice one that didn't quite make it.

What kind of tunes you got there on your list of vinyl conversions ? FLAC format >?

I am a music nut ... especially the old tunes ...

OS2 - man, you are stretching it!! That was the one really good OS outside OS9 (a control systems OS that wouldn't run on intel stuff because intel never figured out how to do quick multitasking/multiuser hardware as Motorola did - long story). I still have that last copy of Warp 4, somewhere. The book is here somewhere too. I've thought of putting it on this machine, but I don't know how it would react to multiple core CPUs.

Music - When I'm putting stuff on here, I like to have as much of the full sound as possible, so I convert everything to WAV files and run that way. Reckon I'm just an old fart that thinks analog music can't be beat, and if I could easily convert, I would. Advantage of the Diamond cut lab is that I can add warm tube and other stuff from "the good ole days" of vacuum valves and some of the distortion therein. It does get close to real analog though. Removal of clicks and so on is also nice, plus they have a brick wall, among many other features.

As to type, I don't go much for hard rock and metal stuff - too much plain noise, I reckon. I prefer cleaner music of all types, from Mozart (Requiem is a favorite) to that ancient folk/folk rock music from the 50s. One of my favs is The Ventures, but I have all manner of music from then to now. That includes some relative unknowns such as The Tradewinds, The Mitchell Trio (wherein John Denver got his start), The Four Freshmen, The Brothers Four, Ferrante & Teischer, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, numerous film themes and soundtracks, ad infinitum. Even some original Elvis albums.

Yes, WAV takes a lot of space, but if I ever get my 1.25 TB close to filled I'll remove an OS and add another TB or two. I also have all my music on MP3 as backup, but perhaps I should be using FLAC. I do like my music.

Edited by RabidCat

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OS2 - man, you are stretching it!! That was the one really good OS outside OS9 (a control systems OS that wouldn't run on intel stuff because intel never figured out how to do quick multitasking/multiuser hardware as Motorola did - long story). I still have that last copy of Warp 4, somewhere. The book is here somewhere too. I've thought of putting it on this machine, but I don't know how it would react to multiple core CPUs.

Yeah OS2 back in the day of those architectures was grand ... POwerPC RISC ... sweet ol'days :lol:

Music - When I'm putting stuff on here, I like to have as much of the full sound as possible, so I convert everything to WAV files and run that way. Reckon I'm just an old fart that thinks analog music can't be beat, and if I could easily convert, I would. Advantage of the Diamond cut lab is that I can add warm tube and other stuff from "the good ole days" of vacuum valves and some of the distortion therein. It does get close to real analog though. Removal of clicks and so on is also nice, plus they have a brick wall, among many other features.

As to type, I don't go much for hard rock and metal stuff - too much plain noise, I reckon. I prefer cleaner music of all types, from Mozart (Requiem is a favorite) to that ancient folk/folk rock music from the 50s. One of my favs is The Ventures, but I have all manner of music from then to now. That includes some relative unknowns such as The Tradewinds, The Mitchell Trio (wherein John Denver got his start), The Four Freshmen, The Brothers Four, Ferrante & Teischer, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, numerous film themes and soundtracks, ad infinitum. Even some original Elvis albums.

Yes, WAV takes a lot of space, but if I ever get my 1.25 TB close to filled I'll remove an OS and add another TB or two. I also have all my music on MP3 as backup, but perhaps I should be using FLAC. I do like my music.

Jealous ... and making me quite depressed ... lol

If you have the get up and tubes wave files is fine .... FLAC is just a matter of data compression I guess ...

I have my Led Zep 'Light and Shade' and Elvis on FLAC .. others I'll just leave at mp3s ... my sound system is just 'sound' for a matter of fact ... so won't matter that much.

Brothers Four ... now that brings back loads of memories ... :lol:

I like obscure music ... things I don;t get to hear anywhere else usually .... like Ali Farka Toure .... old time Blues ... Jazz ... :tu:

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Yeah OS2 back in the day of those architectures was grand ... POwerPC RISC ... sweet ol'days :lol:

Jealous ... and making me quite depressed ... lol

If you have the get up and tubes wave files is fine .... FLAC is just a matter of data compression I guess ...

I have my Led Zep 'Light and Shade' and Elvis on FLAC .. others I'll just leave at mp3s ... my sound system is just 'sound' for a matter of fact ... so won't matter that much.

Brothers Four ... now that brings back loads of memories ... :lol:

I like obscure music ... things I don;t get to hear anywhere else usually .... like Ali Farka Toure .... old time Blues ... Jazz ... :tu:

Had one of those powerpc things, an aftermarket copy when Apple allowed it. Actually a pretty good desktop.

Unless one is a purist, I'd guess the compression doesn't matter that much. I just get a little annoyed when there are things there that aren't supposed to be, and nothing where there is. But then, well, I'm just one of those people that can't accept that a 44.1kHz sample rate will give everything that's in the analog original. Even the higher sample rates leave something to be desired, but that's just me. Unfortunately, my ears have a unique ability to hear high frequencies, and the tape decks I use have responses up to 22.5kHz at 3 3/4 ips (got them in Japan in the 1960s). I tolerate well the WAV files though.

Not so many people are familiar with The Brothers Four, yes?

Guess we're off subject a bit - anyone offended?

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Posted (edited)

Guess we're off subject a bit - anyone offended?

Nothing new here until June 26th and audio sampling and playback tech is an interesting subject IMHO.

Edited by Merc14

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Had one of those powerpc things, an aftermarket copy when Apple allowed it. Actually a pretty good desktop.

Unless one is a purist, I'd guess the compression doesn't matter that much. I just get a little annoyed when there are things there that aren't supposed to be, and nothing where there is. But then, well, I'm just one of those people that can't accept that a 44.1kHz sample rate will give everything that's in the analog original. Even the higher sample rates leave something to be desired, but that's just me. Unfortunately, my ears have a unique ability to hear high frequencies, and the tape decks I use have responses up to 22.5kHz at 3 3/4 ips (got them in Japan in the 1960s). I tolerate well the WAV files though.

you are music man after my own heart .... lol

Yeah ... the hardware today is more forgiving ,,,,

Not so many people are familiar with The Brothers Four, yes?

Guess we're off subject a bit - anyone offended?

Yes

No one do 'Try to remember' too much these days ...

A suggestion that we return this thread back on the needle track might be wise //

:tu:

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It is a little unusual to find people who are aware of the losses when converting to digital - the losses are, after all, one reason that digital provides a clarity at the lower audible frequencies. What many people either don't know or seemingly forget is that all those harmonics available in analog reproduction are lost or only partially reproduced. One of the aerospace companies I worked for was among the first to digitize analog (for recording or transmitting flight data), and there were definitely losses. We did do things differently, though: we used what was then called Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) wherein the digital signal was not only a representative of the analog, but the digital signal was modulated also, in the AM format. So two actual sets of signals were imposed on the transmission, which provided a relatively accurate conversion and twice the data. I think this form of PCM has long gone, however, and it is difficult to work with.

But that sort of thing was limited to military/aerospace and very expensive. I suspect the major advantage of current A2D conversion is the advent of DSPs, which can be very fast since they have dedicated A2D conversion, although it isn't particularly accurate in size (usually less than 12 bits, or 11 bits plus sign). More specialized CPUs get much better results than such as used in phones.

I like electronics, as you most likely infer. Lately (last couple years) my research/learning has taken a slightly different tack, though, in researching various forms of energy production since building a fairly large pulse motor. Tesla was a pure genius. And now I'll leave that one be.

And get back to Windows. I guess one of the things that has always bothered me about windows is that everything you do with it has to be bought. I'd much rather (and do) contribute to a software system that allows one to expand purpose without breaking one's personal bank account.

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not to mention that they hold the users at ransom and practically blackmails them to upgrade ... regardless of the requirements available for such are provided or not

:no:

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It is a little unusual to find people who are aware of the losses when converting to digital - the losses are, after all, one reason that digital provides a clarity at the lower audible frequencies. What many people either don't know or seemingly forget is that all those harmonics available in analog reproduction are lost or only partially reproduced. One of the aerospace companies I worked for was among the first to digitize analog (for recording or transmitting flight data), and there were definitely losses. We did do things differently, though: we used what was then called Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) wherein the digital signal was not only a representative of the analog, but the digital signal was modulated also, in the AM format. So two actual sets of signals were imposed on the transmission, which provided a relatively accurate conversion and twice the data. I think this form of PCM has long gone, however, and it is difficult to work with.

But that sort of thing was limited to military/aerospace and very expensive. I suspect the major advantage of current A2D conversion is the advent of DSPs, which can be very fast since they have dedicated A2D conversion, although it isn't particularly accurate in size (usually less than 12 bits, or 11 bits plus sign). More specialized CPUs get much better results than such as used in phones.

I like electronics, as you most likely infer. Lately (last couple years) my research/learning has taken a slightly different tack, though, in researching various forms of energy production since building a fairly large pulse motor. Tesla was a pure genius. And now I'll leave that one be.

And get back to Windows. I guess one of the things that has always bothered me about windows is that everything you do with it has to be bought. I'd much rather (and do) contribute to a software system that allows one to expand purpose without breaking one's personal bank account.

I am a neophyte when it comes to encoding and ripping etc., especially analog, like a turntable to digital. The new Inybridge (and sandy's for that matter) have special coding onboard that greatky speed this process up, would they have the same effect on what you are talking about? As far as windows costing, I'd say you are one of the few and teh vast majority just want to downpioad a software package and do the job.

not to mention that they hold the users at ransom and practically blackmails them to upgrade ... regardless of the requirements available for such are provided or not

:no:

Windows probably has has a far more generous support policy than Apple. XP came out is 2000 and it is still reguklarly opatched and fully supported. iOS supports the current and the last version only. Linux has come a long way and is free and may be what you are looking for.

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~snip

Windows probably has has a far more generous support policy than Apple. XP came out is 2000 and it is still reguklarly opatched and fully supported. iOS supports the current and the last version only. Linux has come a long way and is free and may be what you are looking for.

WinXp support wasn't by way of choice if I remember correctly ... not sure about the policy over there but here we were being pestered to commit to Vista and NT and Win2000 almost on a daily basis .... then the horror stories started surfacing and the porting was halted even by the hardware sellers themselves.

Like I said the early days ... Win7 is getting better recommends these days but it wasn't that long ago when a backup WinXp was loaded with Win7 as a contingency plan.

Nothing wrong with the 32bit platform for basic users like me, which is the majority if not the major proportion of users, I can't understand whats the point for the 64bit native apps when all they do is type and surf the net.

I mean how much can one actually multi task if I may ask ? I'm still on a Pentium D for crying out loud and it has more than enough flops and bits than I can utilise for what I need.

I hated the Apple Macs and MacOS because of their snotty attitude to be honest ... telling me I'd be a better artist just because I have a mac is an insult rather than compliment in my opinion, but they just don't seems to know the difference. Being in the know ... I knew there was nothing you can do on a mac that you can;t do on an amd or intel machine. Adobe tried to go along but in the end they too saw that they can't keep up the lies for as long as they wanted.

I was one of the early COrel certified instructors/support here, version 3 ..... so I knew the half truths and outright lies they were pouring out at the consumers/users.

Apple was in bad way then ... Billy Gates tossed Steve Jobs a line with the Office port and what did Stevie do ? More lies ....

intel was that way too in the beginning ... remember the 386DX and DX2 ? math co processor disabled ... or faulty ? overdrive ? then overdrive voids warranty.

I was a amd 386dx user to K6 then all the way up to a Pentium D ... this one I'm using now .... which I got for free because my friend went on to buy a new rig.

:)

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Posted (edited)

WinXp support wasn't by way of choice if I remember correctly ... not sure about the policy over there but here we were being pestered to commit to Vista and NT and Win2000 almost on a daily basis .... then the horror stories started surfacing and the porting was halted even by the hardware sellers themselves.

Like I said the early days ... Win7 is getting better recommends these days but it wasn't that long ago when a backup WinXp was loaded with Win7 as a contingency plan.

Nothing wrong with the 32bit platform for basic users like me, which is the majority if not the major proportion of users, I can't understand whats the point for the 64bit native apps when all they do is type and surf the net.

I mean how much can one actually multi task if I may ask ? I'm still on a Pentium D for crying out loud and it has more than enough flops and bits than I can utilise for what I need.

I hated the Apple Macs and MacOS because of their snotty attitude to be honest ... telling me I'd be a better artist just because I have a mac is an insult rather than compliment in my opinion, but they just don't seems to know the difference. Being in the know ... I knew there was nothing you can do on a mac that you can;t do on an amd or intel machine. Adobe tried to go along but in the end they too saw that they can't keep up the lies for as long as they wanted.

I was one of the early COrel certified instructors/support here, version 3 ..... so I knew the half truths and outright lies they were pouring out at the consumers/users.

Apple was in bad way then ... Billy Gates tossed Steve Jobs a line with the Office port and what did Stevie do ? More lies ....

intel was that way too in the beginning ... remember the 386DX and DX2 ? math co processor disabled ... or faulty ? overdrive ? then overdrive voids warranty.

I was a amd 386dx user to K6 then all the way up to a Pentium D ... this one I'm using now .... which I got for free because my friend went on to buy a new rig.

:)

If you are happy on an old Pen D running XP then there is no one in the world making you change but the world has most definitely moved on. As XP fades the malware authors will move on from it so they can concentrate on the larger user base so theoretically you should be safe as long as you keep your security suite running. Windows 7 is a very solid, secure and easy to use OS that provides security layers that XP just isn't capable of buit it requires more advanced hardware. Software writers will stop writing for XP in two or three years, I'd guess but if you are happy with your software as is then who cares about that?

The move to 64 bit computing has been years in the making (how long ago did AMD make the first 64 bit processor, 10 years?) but we are pretty much now moving past 32 bit and moving on to a 64 bit landscape. When you buy a new system it will almost certainly have a 64 bit OS with a 32 bit emulator but there is very litte 64 bit software out there as of now. It is a chicken and egg thing where no one will write software in 64 bit if there isn't a widespread market for 64 bit and no 64 bit OS worth speaking of and MS has dragged its heels for years until Windows 7. With Wihdows 7 they wrote a stable 64 bit OS and most sytems sold were 64 bit versions. Windows 8 is 64 bit only. Once 64 bit is the majority platform we will see most programs written in that format and they won't be backwards compatible.

TWhen the world shifted from 16 bit to 32 bit many had teh same complaints you have here but if we had stayed at 16 bit we'd still be limited to 64kB of addressable memory. Do you see a problem here? Modern programs require more memory to run so they moved to a 32 bit OS which addresses a little less than 4Gb of memory, an astronmical amount way back when. Right now most folks don't need more than 4GB of memory but when the software folks start writing 64 bit programs, that 4GB will be rapidly used up. Some day the same argument will be had about moving to a 128 bit architcture I'd bet.

One thing moving to 64 bit buys you is security. Any rootkits written for 32 bit is rendered useless. Also, a 64 bit system should allow for stronger encryption and security if taken advantage of.

Edited by Merc14
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If you are happy on an old Pen D running XP then there is no one in the world making you change but the world has most definitely moved on. As XP fades the malware authors will move on from it so they can concentrate on the larger user base so theoretically you should be safe as long as you keep your security suite running. Windows 7 is a very solid, secure and easy to use OS that provides security layers that XP just isn't capable of buit it requires more advanced hardware. Software writers will stop writing for XP in two or three years, I'd guess but if you are happy with your software as is then who cares about that?

~snip

I know Win7 well ... plenty of it around me .... I just don't see the point of spending the cash (that I don't have honestly) just so I can marvel at a new interface is all.

My rig can run Win7 but at a pace that is entry level whereas with WinXp its technically a Highway Star ///

I'm only playing POrtal 2 for games, the only one I have installed now ... with the user mods available for it I'm well and quite occupied for some time though I hardly have time to play anymore .... actually I just load up to get away from texts and reading and thinking about my day to day stuff when I gets the odd half hour to while away.

A virtual escape world ... I loved hearing Cave johnson speak .... :lol:

The retro Aperture Labs look is the best looking virtual world I know of .. I am a sad lonely man .... :lol:

I remember when weekends means :

228474_591043724253112_614234992_n.jpg

ahhhh .... where did my youth go ?

.

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Lessee... If I remember correctly, when XP came out, we in that industry called it the eXtended Pay OS. Since it was (is) based on a very stable platform (Windows 2000) with additions to allow use other than business, such as gaming, it did take a while to gel. I don't know what happened to my copy of 2000, but I do miss it, since as above I don't do much with Windows. I do have a laptop I bought for on-the-road use that has Vista, for which I have a deep and abiding dislike. That damned thing murdered that poor laptop by trying an upgrade/update when someone else was using it (so I couldn't stop it) on a wireless connection in a trailer park. Killed the 'puter till I got home and reinstalled.

Probably I'll delay Win7 as long as possible - I suppose eventually I'll be forced into it. From what I've read and what I've seen, for me there is no use whatever for 8.

One of the things I really like about linux is that it is lean enough to run even on the old Pentiums - I mean really old, and perform reasonably well. While I do try to keep my hardware sort of current, since it is my main hobby, all this business about having the latest and greatest is a little beyond me, unless someone really likes having the speed to play all those intense games that abound. And that's ok by me, since I have my little things too, some of which like that extra speed.

I run 64 bit linux. It is marginally faster in some things, but for whatever reasons, some stuff just doesn't like it as well as 32 bit. Not much though. This linux (Kubuntu 12.04 current) doesn't seem to care. As previously stated, I do a virtualbox WinXP on here, which is 32 bit, and windows runs very well, much faster than in its own machine, including making use of the eight core architecture, strangely enough. Note that the eight core is AMD, meaning that it's not really eight cores (or so I understand) but four main cores and four that are used elsewhere, like math. I say this with the caveat that I have not myself examined what's in there, but I'm taking the word of other people who presumably do know. In looking at the processor load I do see all eight cores rolling right along, and when several things are working, all eight do hump up there into the higher usage ranges, so that last bit about four + four may well be nonsense. Anyway, it works. And this AMD FX8120 Black is a replacement for the four core AMD Black, and there is definitely a noticeable difference between the two. This one cranks the speed up by probably 75% or more over the Phenom X2 four core, which implies it's using all eight cores. Shut up, ted (that's me).

As a sidebar to Merc14, the fault with digitizing lays not in the types of conversion, but the conversion itself. If you can picture this, consider a pure sine wave at 1kHz being digitized at a sample rate of 44.1kHz. There will be 44.1 digital samples per complete cycle. Increase the analog frequency to 2kHz and the samples are halved. Go to 10kHz and you now have 4.41 samples per cycle. Since many instruments, especially stringed instruments using bows, have harmonics that extend way on up the ladder, by the time you get to those upper harmonics, digitizing may yield only two samples per cycle, or one per half cycle, and there is no computer in the world that can replicate those harmonics, no matter what transforms are being used. So the harmonics are lost and gone forever, including within WAV files. The compression of such as MP3 can accomodate much of the sound, but what I find (remember, I am something of a purist) is that there is distortion where there shouldn't be distortion; once I convert back to WAV files, much of that is gone, although I can't get rid of it completely.

So I'll never completely get rid of all my old vinyl and reel to reel tapes, and I'll just have to tolerate the digital stuff - but it's not really all that hard to do. I'm just an old snot.

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As a sidebar to Merc14, the fault with digitizing lays not in the types of conversion, but the conversion itself. If you can picture this, consider a pure sine wave at 1kHz being digitized at a sample rate of 44.1kHz. There will be 44.1 digital samples per complete cycle. Increase the analog frequency to 2kHz and the samples are halved. Go to 10kHz and you now have 4.41 samples per cycle. Since many instruments, especially stringed instruments using bows, have harmonics that extend way on up the ladder, by the time you get to those upper harmonics, digitizing may yield only two samples per cycle, or one per half cycle, and there is no computer in the world that can replicate those harmonics, no matter what transforms are being used. So the harmonics are lost and gone forever, including within WAV files. The compression of such as MP3 can accomodate much of the sound, but what I find (remember, I am something of a purist) is that there is distortion where there shouldn't be distortion; once I convert back to WAV files, much of that is gone, although I can't get rid of it completely.

So I'll never completely get rid of all my old vinyl and reel to reel tapes, and I'll just have to tolerate the digital stuff - but it's not really all that hard to do. I'm just an old snot.

Thanks for clarifying that for me is such an easy to understand way! I understood compression losses but the actual conversion loss was a mystery. Obviously higher sampling rates, while not completely eliminating the problem, would help alleviate some of the loss so what is holding back the higher sampling rates, processing power? Software that isn't multithreaded?

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Thanks for clarifying that for me is such an easy to understand way! I understood compression losses but the actual conversion loss was a mystery. Obviously higher sampling rates, while not completely eliminating the problem, would help alleviate some of the loss so what is holding back the higher sampling rates, processing power? Software that isn't multithreaded?

Generally speaking, it's conversion time. An A2D conversion takes time. In short, when the analog comes in, a voltage sample is acquired; once it is acquired, it's then converted to a digital representation. The accuracy is determined by the number of bits (resolution) and the speed of the sample (settling time). Within a DSP, the resolution is mostly around 11 bits, or 10 bits plus sign. Mostly, this is adequate for such analog as voice. Sixteen bit converters aren't uncommon, nor are 32 bit converters. Now then, addressing conversion time, I mentioned two factors. Settle time is the time necessary for the converter electronics to actually get to a stable input sample, normally reasonably quick (microseconds or tens of microseconds). Next is conversion time, which may well be much longer, since bit weight (or voltage represented by that particular bit) extends the time. In other words, the first few bits (highest order) are stable quickly, but the time increases as the bit weight decreases. The last bit (least value) is never accurate, so specs tend to be +/- 1 bit. Sign is easy and doesn't really count.

As to threading, the DSP is already a multithreading device with multiple pathways, look aheads and so forth built in to the hardware and low level programming (the hardware programming that makes all those transistors do what they do, called microcode). DSPs are built to move fast to do their thing, and while you may see clock rates well under your 3 or 4 GHz intel or AMD, the DSP is actually whizzing along quite a bit faster than the main CPUs. For instance, comparing older processors, the 8086 required 71 clocks to multiply, but the 6809E required only 11, and while the 86 ran at twice the clock rate, it was much slower; the same thing is true for the DSP/686 comparison. Addresses are fast, data is loaded more quickly, math is accomplished much more quickly, and some DSPs will be executing several instructions at the same time. Last one I used had a multiply (16 bit) that was over in 5 clocks (meaning it loaded the data, did the multiply, and stored the data in 5 clocks, and that's moving out pretty quickly). Unfortunately, the bottleneck is still the conversion. Make sense?

Another factor is the type of A2D converter, and there are several. Won't get into that, I think, except to say that some are very slow but extremely accurate, others are faster but are more error prone. There are very fast converters that are very accurate and have lots and lots of bits, but those are out of reach to all but aerospace/military and other rather darkly colored research projects we will not mention. So you're stuck with stuff that may do 32 bits and is reasonably quick. Things do get better, though, and 64 bit words are being used some places.

In perspective, sample raes above 44.1 kHz are rare (I go to 98.2kHz sometimes), and very seldom used outside sound lab setups. Most people can't really tell the difference, and coupled with the exceptional amount of noise in much modern music (if that's what you want to call it), it makes no difference whatever. If the "background" music is cranked up to the point of pain, the guitar amps are in overdrive, and someone is screaming into an overdriven mike, it's impossible to tell anyway. If, however, you listen to "Die Valkurie" or Brahms or Richard Strauss or something of that order, you can tell. Or even with The Ventures (since mostly their music is clean).

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Posted (edited)

Generally speaking, it's conversion time. An A2D conversion takes time. In short, when the analog comes in, a voltage sample is acquired; once it is acquired, it's then converted to a digital representation. The accuracy is determined by the number of bits (resolution) and the speed of the sample (settling time). Within a DSP, the resolution is mostly around 11 bits, or 10 bits plus sign. Mostly, this is adequate for such analog as voice. Sixteen bit converters aren't uncommon, nor are 32 bit converters. Now then, addressing conversion time, I mentioned two factors. Settle time is the time necessary for the converter electronics to actually get to a stable input sample, normally reasonably quick (microseconds or tens of microseconds). Next is conversion time, which may well be much longer, since bit weight (or voltage represented by that particular bit) extends the time. In other words, the first few bits (highest order) are stable quickly, but the time increases as the bit weight decreases. The last bit (least value) is never accurate, so specs tend to be +/- 1 bit. Sign is easy and doesn't really count.

As to threading, the DSP is already a multithreading device with multiple pathways, look aheads and so forth built in to the hardware and low level programming (the hardware programming that makes all those transistors do what they do, called microcode). DSPs are built to move fast to do their thing, and while you may see clock rates well under your 3 or 4 GHz intel or AMD, the DSP is actually whizzing along quite a bit faster than the main CPUs. For instance, comparing older processors, the 8086 required 71 clocks to multiply, but the 6809E required only 11, and while the 86 ran at twice the clock rate, it was much slower; the same thing is true for the DSP/686 comparison. Addresses are fast, data is loaded more quickly, math is accomplished much more quickly, and some DSPs will be executing several instructions at the same time. Last one I used had a multiply (16 bit) that was over in 5 clocks (meaning it loaded the data, did the multiply, and stored the data in 5 clocks, and that's moving out pretty quickly). Unfortunately, the bottleneck is still the conversion. Make sense?

Another factor is the type of A2D converter, and there are several. Won't get into that, I think, except to say that some are very slow but extremely accurate, others are faster but are more error prone. There are very fast converters that are very accurate and have lots and lots of bits, but those are out of reach to all but aerospace/military and other rather darkly colored research projects we will not mention. So you're stuck with stuff that may do 32 bits and is reasonably quick. Things do get better, though, and 64 bit words are being used some places.

In perspective, sample raes above 44.1 kHz are rare (I go to 98.2kHz sometimes), and very seldom used outside sound lab setups. Most people can't really tell the difference, and coupled with the exceptional amount of noise in much modern music (if that's what you want to call it), it makes no difference whatever. If the "background" music is cranked up to the point of pain, the guitar amps are in overdrive, and someone is screaming into an overdriven mike, it's impossible to tell anyway. If, however, you listen to "Die Valkurie" or Brahms or Richard Strauss or something of that order, you can tell. Or even with The Ventures (since mostly their music is clean).

Great stuff. Thanks! I'll have to read a couple more times to fully understand :tu:

Would CPGPU processing greatly aid this? The massive parallel processing capabilities in the latest GPU's seem perfect for this work. Is there any software taking advantage of this power r is it not applicable? Seems like huge money to be made by harnessing the power of CPGPUs .

Edited by Merc14

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Great stuff. Thanks! I'll have to read a couple more times to fully understand :tu:

Would CPGPU processing greatly aid this? The massive parallel processing capabilities in the latest GPU's seem perfect for this work. Is there any software taking advantage of this power r is it not applicable? Seems like huge money to be made by harnessing the power of CPGPUs .

GPUs are oriented towards the graphical end, as you know, I'm sure. DSPs are oriented towards controls based on analog inputs, which makes them very competent in audio applications. As an example, I'll use a UPS I worked on some time ago, ten years or so. The DSP was a TI F243, and the entire core that constructed the true sine wave output was in less than 100 instructions: calculation via formula for next on time, calculation for rail pump, calculations for integral control (eventually Proportional Integral Derivative - PID control) of the sine, load requirements and so on. From start the whole thing was finished in about 100 microseconds. The actual wave generation was complete in something like 15 microseconds including the A2D conversion. Remember that this was done to build a 50 or 60 Hz true sine at either 120VAC or 220VAC. That part I wrote in assembly, the rest of the program dealing with communications, battery charging, line input tests and so on were done in ANSII C. The whole program was resident in less than 8k of ROM, if memory serves me correctly. Hard to find that kind of efficiency in anything other than a DSP. The conversion entity was 10 bits +1.

I'm sure that current processors are somewhat more than the F243 also. In fact, TI was introducing a DSP of the same family that had much higher clock speeds, and there were several others out there at the time that were substantially faster. Biggest thing is still the conversion time, and there are definite limitations on that. I recall one I worked on that was very slow (seconds), used for electronic scales, but was so accurate we could measure 1 oz in a million pounds. Used for weights and balances of aircraft.

If you're familiar with integral calculus, that's sort of how A2D and D2A conversion works. It will always contain inaccuracies, since no one has built an infinitely variable digit. And short waveforms will escape the mess so are not reproduced.

So there you are.

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I ran the Windows 8.1 preview for a couple of days and really liked it. The start button is back but it just takes you to the metro screen but that screen has changed quite a bit. Your heavily used programs sit right there and teh background matches the desktop so it isn't so jarring as it was before. Lots of search updates and the settngs are more coherent now. You can also boot directly to desktop but you ned to click a settings box to make that happen. I had to take it off so only got to play a little bit tbut this is a very good OS now.

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